Marketers will only be able to use Maximize Lift through tomorrow
YouTube will sunset the once-popular targeting tool called Maximize Lift bidding.
The tool helps marketers target users who are not already aware of their brand. The tool uses survey research and machine learning to serve ads to sought-after users.
Ads that use the tool will be supported until tomorrow, March 31. Sources informed Adweek about the shuttering of Maximize Lift on Monday. Google confirmed the news last night.
“The main focus of the product is to go after people who will drive brand lift,” said an advertising executive who requested anonymity. The goal is “to make sure I’m being impactful with my impressions,” the exec added.
Google is shutting down Maximize Lift to focus on other, more effective tools, the company says.
“While we did see some success we are sunsetting the bidding tool to focus on scalable solutions like skippable in-stream ads that are more in line with how advertisers want to buy,” a Google spokesperson told Adweek. Skippable in-stream ads also allow for consideration lift, Google said.
YouTube introduced the product in beta in 2018 along with a suite of other machine learning tools. One, dubbed TrueView for Action, was focused on optimizing for conversion events. It was phased out last year.
“It’s a good product but I think with where the industry is at, there are products that are a little bit better,” said our advertising source of Maximize Lift.
Adam Heimlich, co-founder of ad tech company Chalice, said there are key financial incentives behind YouTube’s original development of the tool. YouTube has an interest in developing upper-funnel tools, as brand awareness is often the objective of higher-spending enterprise brands. In a 2018 blog post introducing the product, a YouTube executive noted that CoverGirl drove an estimated 2x return on ad spend using Maximize Lift.
The tool represented a useful paradigm shift for political advertisers, who target voters based on set demographics – like suburban woman – and not on machine learning, said a political advertising source.
“You don’t start out by identifying targets per se. You would let your creative and who’s responding to your creative and who’s being lifted guide the process,” said the source, who added that the while the tool was “a very innovative, next level tool adopted by really smart advertisers,” it didn’t achieve widespread adoption among politicos.
“There is a problem in the political space. In the past couple of election cycles we’ve just been off on what our electorate is. Tools like this are innovative and allow for a lot of online signals as opposed to offline signals.”
Another limitation of the product is that it requires a large amount of survey data to maintain. Marketers can expect to detect lift once they receive 4,100 survey responses. A third advertising source noted that while he uses the tool often, it has its limits due to small sample sizes.
Mike Woosley, COO of identity solution company Lotame, agrees.
“Because it involves a survey and requires a minimum number of responses, the product is probably difficult to maintain,” Woosley said. “It may be a simple business decision that the product is hard to understand, does not drive compelling results, is expensive and complicated to operate, or does not have much uptake in the market.
by Catherine Perloff